Nova Scotia

MaCali Cormier, 4, of Yarmouth remembered for her love of helping others

The community of Yarmouth, N.S., is in mourning after a Santa Claus parade tragedy claimed the life of MaCali Cormier, who was four years old. She is being remembered by her family as "an awesome big sister."

Community in mourning after death of little girl at Yarmouth's annual Santa Claus parade

Four-year-old MaCali Cormier is being remembered by her family for her love of horse riding, dancing and swimming. (Facebook)

The community of Yarmouth, N.S., is in mourning after a tragedy at the town's Santa Claus parade claimed the life of four-year-old MaCali Cormier. 

The girl is being remembered by her family for her love of swimming, dancing, horseback riding, and camping, according to her obituary. 

"Most of all, MaCali will be remembered as a little girl who loved helping other people," read the obituary, which was posted on a funeral home's website.

She was a student at the pre-primary program at Yarmouth Central School and "couldn't wait to go to the brand new school they were building across the street," it went on.

The young girl's family is also mourning her as "an awesome big sister" to her two younger siblings. 

'Devastated by the traumatic accident'

MaCali, who would have turned five in January, was attending Yarmouth's Christmas Parade of Lights on Saturday evening. She was running alongside a moving float when she fell underneath, RCMP say. She was treated immediately at the scene by first responders and taken to Yarmouth Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Organizers of the parade said in a Facebook post that they are "devastated by the traumatic accident during the Christmas Parade of Lights. We, along with the community, mourn the family's loss and are praying for everyone affected. The focus is on coming together as a community and helping this family through a very difficult time."

A candlelight vigil is planned for Monday night in MaCali's honour at Yarmouth's Frost Park at 7 p.m. Donation jars will be available to help her family and attendees are being encouraged to wear purple, MaCali's favourite colour. 

"Everybody is quite sad, but everybody is trying to pull together to help the family out as much as possible, so they don't have to worry about nothing," said one of the vigil organizers, Kendra Mills. 
"We're all here to help, and you know like we live in a small community but when something tragic like this happens we all come together."

"I spoke with a couple of family members last night and they said they are following everything we're doing on Facebook and they greatly appreciate everything that we have done so far them," Mills told CBC's Maritime Noon

In MaCali's obituary, her family thanked the first responders and the many bystanders at the parade who were there to help.

A trust fund has also been set up for MaCali's two siblings. People can make memorial donations to that fund through H.M. Huskilson's Funeral Home in Yarmouth. Huskilson's is handling MaCali's funeral arrangements free of charge. 

Visitation for MaCali Cormier will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday with prayers at 8 p.m. at the Yarmouth Wesleyan Church on Haley Road, according to her obituary.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Yarmouth Wesleyan Church

With files from Maritime Noon